With All Due Respect, I Stand With Professor Saida Grundy!

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http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/05/new_boston_university_professors_tweets_spark_racial_furor

The other day I just happen to open up my Facebook account (for the first time in many months) and in my timeline I came across the article above. To summarize quickly, it was about a new incoming Black female Professor at a top university criticized for “racially charged tweets” that she made on her personal twitter account. Her tweets included comments such as calling ““white college males” a “problem population,” declaring “white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges.” Other tweets stated “Deal with your white (expletive), white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing,” and “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.””

Now… we do know that when having only 140 characters to express yourself on a platform like Twitter, there are many things that can get taken out of context. Agreed? Ok, cool. Now that we cleared that fact out of the way, let me begin to immerse in my truth.

As a Black female who is a Professor as well who works at a very well-known college in Boston, who also happens to be a spoken word artist, motivational speaker, workshop facilitator, a MC/Host, womanist, daughter, sister, friend, niece, granddaughter, and the titles go on and on, I must say it’s always a damn battle to voice your opinion without running what you have to say by the many identities that one operate under. As a poet, I have openly admitted the struggle of writing about myself and my feelings as I have gotten older because I am always thinking about my family and friends and if I express a certain topic, how might I deal with their opinions and feelings about my opinions and feelings. That’s a lot of damn pressure. In all of the identities that I have, I have found it difficult for me to express my truth. It was in Graduate school, that I spent my entire time learning and studying myself as a Black woman in born and living in America. I was 25 years old. To date, it’s only been the last 4 years that I have been giving myself permission to understand what it means to be a Black woman in America, the importance of finding my voice and speaking my truth, and the power behind telling my own story.

Being Black in America and voicing opinions on matters that impact Black people seems to be a very perturbing issue for those who wish to continue to downplay the history that America is built upon. It is easy to say remember but forget about it because that is the past. But, it is no secret that this country was built from a white perspective that has dominated everything in this country from values, morals, religion, government, media, etc. It is no secret that people from different backgrounds has assimilated to the American culture at the risk of curtailing their own cultural values and beliefs.

The tweets Professor Grundy posted, I can very much relate too. And from reading her them, I automatically understood what she was talking about. The history behind her tweets should be explored before jumping to the conclusion that she is a racist Black Professor who is going to possibly discriminate against all “white college males” who may sign up for her class. Hell, I have had white professors who have made comments that I felt was embedded with white privilege with no cultural competence behind what they are saying. In the case with Professor Grundy, that is not the case. Let’s not generalize her as some insolent Black woman without any intelligence or integrity when clearly that is not the case. She is an intelligent educated Black woman who is more than capable of finding the statistics and facts to back up her tweets. Thank you very much. I do not feel her tweets were an attack on white college male students nor was it an attack on white people. It was simply an expression of frustration with regards to white privilege, patriarchy, systemic power, and socioeconomics—on her personal Twitter account. It was not on the college’s Twitter account but her personal account. Geesh, the moment your personal is public and you get penalized publicly for your personal opinion. What’s next?—the demand of a public apology?

Excuse me as I digressed there for a moment.

I know that in the work that I do, I run the risk of saying something that someone may not agree with or disapprove of. But, I cannot control how anyone is going to feel nor can I control their reaction to what I may say. Especially on my personal time that seems to be claimed by my professional life. That shit is tiring.

What I do know is this I will never compromise my feelings, that’s equivalent to denying the truth, and I will never deny myself that” (TiElla Grimes). And I appreciate Professor Saida Grundy for doing just that.

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